Hi Joe and welcome to the list. Bless you for being the type of person to take in animals in need. My condolences on losing Zoro and Stitch. Everyone in this group understands the bonds of interspecies love and we know how much it hurts. You must be reeling from Chewie's pos test result. Did you bring Chewie home while Zoro was still with you? There's no way to know who transmitted the disease to whom, I was just wondering. The good news is that Chewie is 3.5 yrs. Kittens who present symptoms of the disease usually do so before their 3rd birthday, so it's fabulous that Chewie is so healthy. There are so many false pos using the in-house ELISA test that there is always the hope that they aren't really pos at all. Given your history, it seems less likely in your case though. It could be that Chewie is a carrier and will never develop symptoms, it could be that she is in the process of fighting off the disease and will later test neg.

You will learn all sorts of things to do to help Chewie stay healthy, a quality diet, supplements and a stress free environment make a huge difference in their longevity. You are wise to consider the stress of adopting another cat, but it is possible to acclimate a new arrival in ways that lessen that stress. I'm sure you will be hearing from our list members with lots of good suggestions very soon. In the meantime, you might want to visit our archives and do searches on our past discussions. You'll be surprised at how our experiences differ from much of the veterinary community's stance and the common misconceptions of the general public. Please let us hear from you often, ask as many questions as you like. This is a very informative and supportive group, we're all in this together.

Joe Reil wrote:
Howdy all,

This is my first post to this list, thought I'd do a
bit of intro.

We had three cats in our family. The older two were
both "castaways" that were adopted as adults. Zoro was
the oldest and I adopted him from a co-worker when I
lived by myself. He died several years ago.

The remaining two were Stitch and Chewie. Chewie was
the next oldest. She had a really hard start to life,
she was originally found, as a stray by some friends
of ours. She was probably two or three at the time and
she had evidence of being abused - she had some
suspicious scars on her underside.

She lived with them for a while, very shy/nervous and
eventually came out of her shell. A couple years
later, they had to move, and couldn't take her with
them so we took her in. We had her for several years
as well and while we don't know her exact age, best
estimate put her at 8-10 years old when she died last

She had a loss of appetite and started losing weight.
She had two trips to the Vet - after the first visit
she took a serious turn for the worse so we had her
back at the vet only a few days later. A blood test on
the second visit revealed that she had FelV. So,
considering she was very sick and was suffering from a
pretty serious disease we opted to put her to sleep
then. :(

I didn't know much about FelV then (and I'm still
learning about it), but information from both our Vet
and online resources I found indicated that it was
contagious so we decided to have our third (and
youngest) cat tested for it. Stitch is the only one we
got as a Kitten and she's about 3.5 years old.

I brought her to the vet this weekend and she tested
positive for FelV. :(

I do intend to learn as much as I can about the
disease so we can keep her with us as long as
possible. I know that it will eventually catch up to
her and our main thing will be to put that off as long
as possible. She's still young and healthy so
hopefully that'll be a long time still. :)

We had been planning to get a second cat, but we've
put that plan on hold now. I know it is possible to
inoculate against FelV, but given that the vaccine
takes a while to take effect, we'd either have to
quarantine the new cat until the vaccine took effect
or find it someplace else to live for a month or so,
and on top of all that I don't think we want to put
Stitch through the stress of another housemate at the
moment (she doesn't react well to strangers).



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